I have a client who owns a few coffee shops in the Philadelphia area. Last year, he was presented with a rare opportunity to lease a space near Rittenhouse Square, a prime location in the city. However, his prospective landlord required a significant up-front deposit to secure the space within 24 hours. My client didn’t have that kind of cash on hand. So what did he do? He turned to Kabbage, an automated online lending platform for small businesses. He was approved in time to put down a deposit and win the new location. Within just a couple of months he was able to pay back the loan—which saved him even more since Kabbage doesn’t charge pre-payment fees. Business, not surprisingly given his central location, has been booming.
This is an example of a client who understands the purpose of a short-term loan. Sometimes I meet business owners who don’t. It’s a mistake. Read More…
When people ask me – and they often do – what is the single mostimportant lesson I’ve learned from running a business over the past two decades I have a very quick answer: I outsource.
I outsource my payroll. I outsource my accounting. I outsource my technology support, my marketing services and my accounts receivable collections. I pay others to host my website, my phone system, my files and my applications. I do this because I’ve learned from many other and smarter, successful and long-time business owners who have also learned this important lesson: the more they focus on what they do – and let outside experts focus on what they do – the better their business will be.
Which brings me to recruiting new employees for my firm. This, I’ve learned, is yet another expertise.
Go ahead, try to do it yourself. Advertise on a job search site. Assuming you’re competent enough to even write up a decent job solicitation (I’m not) then get ready to deal with the resumes that come in. Now, review those resumes and tell me: can you really figure out who are the good candidates? I know I can’t. Next, take a stab at a few prospects and bring them in for interviews. Are you so good at interviewing that you can determine whether or not a person is truly capable of doing the job? I know I’m not.
Finding people – particularly in these times of low unemployment and fierce competition from bigger firms that are likely offering better benefits – is a huge challenge. Evaluating them and ultimately deciding on a new person is an enormous gamble. And making the wrong decision? For a ten-person company like mine, it can be a costly mistake and oftentimes very disruptive. Trust me – I’ve been there.
So I outsource recruitment, just like I outsource so many other things. I’m an expert at helping clients with the customer relationship management applications my firm sells and implements. I’m pretty good at giving financial advice too. But I’m definitely not an expert at recruiting, no more than I’m an expert at payroll or phone systems.
Good recruiters demonstrate their expertise by doing things a typical business owner like me cannot. They have a database and likely job prospects that can be matched to your needs based on a number of criteria. They have the internal skills to recognize specific people in their community that would be most appropriate for the job you’ve offered. They have the infrastructure and procedures in place to put those candidates through the necessary and proper due diligence before you’ve even met them. They also have the skills to coach and counsel their clients through the interview and employment process, ensuring that you’re asking the right questions and able to identify the best answers.
More importantly, a good recruiter will do for you what all good experts in their field do: save you time and likely get you a better result than you could do on your own…and faster. Lucas Group’s recruiters, for example, serve as a seamless, complementary HR partner. They deliver professionals that help navigate the complex maze of today’s business landscape with skill, knowledge, and insight. “We aim to set the bar high within the recruiting industry by exceeding industry standards,” Scott Smith, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer says, by “providing innovative business practices and delivering the most in-demand leaders to propel businesses forward.”
Of course there’s a cost. But like every other cost in your business you have to evaluate the return on investment. And there are two easy ways to do this. For starters, whatever a recruiter charges your job is to determine whether that new and qualified employee who’s been specially chosen will return that cost in multiples through the additional revenues and/or profit that employee generates for your company. Also, if you add up all the hours you would need to spend finding that right person – assuming you’re even able to do that – what is the cost to your firm not only for your compensation but for the lost opportunity time you could’ve been spending getting more customers or just running your business?
The recruitment services and careers industry is predicted to be a $153 billion industry next year. There’s a reason for this: smart employers know that these firms provide a valuable service. It’s not just about recruiting people. It’s about letting experts do what they do best so that you can do what you do best. Follow that model – whether it’s recruiting, bookkeeping or marketing – and you’re likely to succeed with your business too.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lucas Group. The opinions and text are all mine.